Seven Easy Ways to Read a Source

Step 1: The first thing to do is look at the abstract. Does it match up with at least one of your ideas or
points?

If it does, keep reading!

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If not, keep looking!

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Step 2: After looking at the abstract, read through the introduction and conclusion. What is the
author arguing or saying? Ask yourself if the ideas are similar or different to your own.

Step 3: Skim through the thesis statement and the topic sentences. Does anything stand out to you?

Step 4: Once you’ve looked at the main parts, spend approximately ten minutes and skim through the
article, marking anything you find interesting.

Step 5: If the article still makes you excited, go back through and re-read it. This time, you’ll want to have some type of writing utensil—a crayon, colored pencil, highlighter, pen, or pencil. Take lots of notes in the margins and ask yourself questions. Think about how you would want to use this particular source and why.

Step 6: Now decide what bits you want to quote, paraphrase, or summarize in your paper.

Step 7: Write down the citation information as you go. It is much easier to cite or refer to a source, if you already have the information written or typed rather than trying to find it again.

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